10 Amazing Ways to Improve Your Landscape Photography

Landscape photography can have an amazing effect on the viewer and can be shot in a myriad of terrains. The final effect is, of course, the composition of the theme that Mother Nature offers in all her bounty. The vagaries of the weather and the play of light at dusk and dawn all contribute to the endless opportunities to capture shots that connect with the viewer instantly. Despite it all, there are certain factors that can make your landscape photography more intense than ever. Make your mark as an expert and a sought-after landscape photographer with these 10 amazing photography hacks!!!

1. Find A Focal Point

A focal point is where the eye of the viewer stops when looking at a landscape. It is from there that the eyes explore the other features in the photograph. Without a focal point, any photograph remains incomplete and the viewer will wonder about it all without knowing what to look at. As a result, they end up losing interest in the piece and move on to view some other capture!

A focal point in landscape photography can be anything – a tree, structures, rocks or formations – almost anything that one can lay their eyes on. But what is important is to know how and where to place this focal point. Apart from single structures, you can also use subtle focal point such as silhouettes and play of colors.

To create the right focal point, you will naturally have to use the rule of thirds used for any graphic composition. Once you divide the area with two equally spaced horizontal and vertical lines, place the focal point at the intersection of the grids. You have four of them and any one of them depending on the composition of your theme to get the perfect focal point.

As a landscape photographer, you are sure to create an amazing and interesting portrayal that viewers will love to look at!

2. Maximize The Depth of The Field

A good landscape photograph is sure to have a depth to it to increase its vibrant look and feel. Keep the main subject in focus and opt for a small aperture that will increase the depth of your field. It is necessary that landscape photographs be sharp from one end to the other and choosing an aperture between f/8 to f/22 will give you the desired depth and make the image sharp all through. You need to compensate the less light with the small aperture by lengthening the shutter speed or increasing the ISO or may have to do both.

This is not to say that shallow settings cannot give you great landscape pictures but of course you have to experiment a lot and gain expertise in the field before attaining it to perfection.

3. The Foreground is Important

A great way of making your landscape photograph highly interesting is by making one of the elements of the foreground the focal point. It is a way of creating an entry point to the scene and also giving it a great depth. There is so much to explore in such kind of landscape! You can use a variety of subject ranging from a branch to a person as the foreground subject and the entry to the scene.

4. Capture Nature in Motion

Landscape photography does not mean portraying nature in a still and motionless way. Some of the best landscape photographs are those that have captured the high drama of nature. These can be swaying of the branches, softly moving leaves, cloud movement, the flow of water, birds flying or even moving vehicles. In reality, most landscapes are almost never still and portraying movements in them heightens interest.

To capture movements, you will have to make the shutter speed long for even up to a few seconds and a smaller aperture to control light. You can opt for an evening or morning light to lessen the effect of light, however.

5. Place The Lines Right

Lines in a photograph lead the eyes of the viewer along with them. When and where available, you can place the lines in the foreground so that they follow it down along its depth. Lines can thus give your image great depth, create patterns that become points of interest in the deep landscape portrayal.

6. Get The Horizons Horizontal

Horizons have a great impact on any landscape photographs and there are two propositions that you have to keep in mind when capturing them. Firstly, your horizon should be straight when you capture it. Even though there are post-production tools to straighten them, it is best to get them right during the shoot. Secondly, the horizon should be along the grid lines in the rule of thirds. They are the best places on the top third line rather than in the middle or baseline.

7. Aim at The Sky

Adding the sky to your landscape especially in the foreground brings it alive and living. When there is a lot of color in the sky, it is best to place it at a lower level grid line. When you have white clouds in a blue sky, using a polarizing filter helps add to the drama on the skies with color and contrast. The polarizing effect will work when you are working with the sun to one of your sides and not when you are facing it or facing away from it.

8. Use The Golden Hours

The hours before sunset are the Golden Hours for photography and more so for landscape photography. The golden color of the sun is visible during these hours that you can use for your capturing the landscape in a hue of colors. The time after sunset is known as the blue hour and it offers a completely different set of colors that too you can use to add to the color palette.

Mid-day sun offers very little in terms of landscape photography. Low light adds to the warmth and texture of the piece with its soft and varying hues. Early morning too is another time when you can use the drama of natural light.

9. Still The Tripod There

You need a steady hand to shoot and capture the landscape scene and what better than a tripod. Even the slightest movement is sure to unsharp even the best of themes shot by an expensive lens. Investment on a tripod is more worth than investing on expensive and pro lens that will all go wrong with the slightest jerk.

When you are working with a small aperture and long shutter speed, the camera needs to be completely still. Shooting at faster speed needs the steady base of a tripod. You can even consider remote shutter release mode use for that extra stillness.

10. Tell A Story With Your Photography

A captivating view of a landscape photograph is a story with an interesting beginning, engrossing middle and enthralling end. The three elements are the foreground, mid-scape, and the background. Compose your image with these three elements in mind and you will keep the viewer hooked onto the same picture for hours exploring it again and again. Lead the viewer from one element to the other or create a foreground and a mid-ground that leads to the background interest.

Picture compositions are best done with a wide-angle lens but take care not to go too wide in which case, the impact of the background will lose ground becoming too small.

Now, with these simple tricks up your sleeves, set out with your tools to tell the story of nature and humans – in pictures.

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